Thursday, October 21, 2010

More than just a Mental Sabbatical

First of all. . .

Someone told me today, a complete stranger actually, that I should always go with my gut instinct and not take advice.  It was like this woman looked at me and knew I've been bounced around like a tennis ball in a tournament from, "You should finish your last year of school!  You're so close..." to "You'll regret not going back...".

Well, my gut instinct told me to take this semester off to regroup, focus on my health and overall well being, and just breathe for a while.  Instead of relying on my instincts, I did the typical Melissa and tried to make everyone else happy.  Unfortunately, seven weeks later, I'm failing three out of four classes and I'm in the midst of a repeat of my junior and senior year of high school.  Luckily, they don't send you to court for truancy when you're in college.  Unfortunately, there's a whole other mess of crap to deal with that makes truancy court look like a picnic.

I'll finish my degree.  It may not be next year and it may not even be at Viterbo, but I am going to finish.  Right now, I need me-time.  And family time.  I need to relearn how to enjoy these hobbies I have instead of feeling guilty about enjoying them when I should be doing other things.  I want the callouses back on my fingers from playing the guitar too much.  I want to read books that didn't cost me $300 and don't put me to sleep.  I want to like myself again and re-declare myself "Happily Ever Average."

I played a gig tonight at an event titled "Awesome Women."  I went into it feeling like I didn't belong there.  My songs aren't awesome.  My guitar skills aren't awesome.  Neither is my voice.  My life isn't in an "awesome" place right now.

There was a pile of name tags that had a word or phrase written on it.  You had to pick out a name tag and write your name on it.  I didn't know we had to find one that fit, so I just grabbed one on the top and the phrase on mine was Infinite Possibilities.  We eventually had to go around the room and explain why we picked the one we did.  After thinking about it, I decided this fit me perfectly right now.  I announced to the group that I became a college dropout and now see infinite possibilities for the next few months... or maybe even the next year!

Instead of dwelling on the money I'm wasting, the time I'm losing, and the disappointment - I need to focus on the potential of what this leave has to offer me.  There's songwriting, guitar playing, running and fitness, relaxing, and spending time with my family.  I can take the time to get my photography business up and running.

What I do know is that I feel like part of this weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.  This is good, right?

Don't answer that.  I know it's good because I trust my gut.

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